A Godard classic returns to the cinema with another possible reading | CINEMA

In its aesthetic of the random Jean-Luc Godard installs us in the streets of Paris, more precisely in its bars. There is no purpose at the plot level, the filmmaker lets himself be won over by the objectives and uncertainties of his young characters. They want the revolution and they mention it without modesty.

Paul and Robert They look for an opportunity to act in the street, to intervene on reality, but they do so from their bourgeois imprint. They are elegant, with a contemptuous friendliness, with an unhealthy naivety that they use to evade and disconcert, to conquer infinite attention. Apparently superficial (because Godard chooses to embody politics in male voices) they function here as a call to politics.

In fact, it seems that Godard wanted to push them towards politicization, as if each scene in Female Male (film released in 1966 but that today we can see in theaters remastered) was built on the idea that the future is in them, in their cautious way of combing their hair, in the clothes that fit them perfectly and in those gestures that he tries to discover with the persistence of his camera as if there he kept, still silent, the plot of true ideology.

Paul is the one who asks but the camera focuses on them. To Madeleine who looks in the mirror and looks at it from her, who goes to the center of the drama when he tells her if asking her out means that he wants to sleep with her. Among the posters of a militant cinema, among the weapons that appear for no reason and are used as a coup that has no consequences in history, Among the speeches that take place in that young and urban life, the biggest question will be the woman.

If the new wave made the camera a narrative figure, Godard established the performance from a link between the performers and the lens. There is some harassment (an element of irritation that forms the basis of the conflict) in the way Paul questions Madeleine and Robert questions Catherine. At first, one could even say that the camera is on the side of the male character located outside the frame as if the women were cornered by that voice that always wants to know more, but what is revealed is that inextricable world of the feminine as the political territory where Godard indicates that the greatest interest must be arranged.

In that relationship with the camera that marks the performance of Chantal Goya and Isabelle Duport as if he were Godard taking them to an area as intimate as it is unavoidable, the women are driven to talk about themselves. When Paul (performed by Jean-Pierre Léaud) asks them if they know methods to avoid getting pregnant in a journalistic procedure that gives this film the appearance of a fake documentary, we have to think of these scenes in relation to a random montage structure, similar to an essay text, linked to that clamor that seeks political adventure.

The speech about Vietnam, about Charles de Gaulle, about a youth that in a few years was going to star in the French May, serves as a context to integrate female sexuality into a political line. France legalizes abortion in 1974 and Female Male contemplate this theme under the songs of the revolution. If Godard uses the pamphlet, if his way of filming, his words, his characters who do pirouettes so as not to adapt to bourgeois rules, go out into the street to observe others, to understand the world from a certain parody, in that wandering discovers that abortion is a political issue.

The avant-garde as that agitated universe where, between the slogans and a joyful lightness, there emerges the sad gleam of a decision that, although feminine, Godard places in a public space. The Leninist question: what to do? now it is in the eyes of a young woman.

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A Godard classic returns to the cinema with another possible reading | CINEMA